Sunday, March 19, 2006

Practicing Discardia

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says "The best things in life aren't things." My friend J pointed out the irony of that sticker to me as he and several other of my friends toiled to move me into my second floor apartment last October. Before I moved I had purged a lot of stuff. Or what I considered a lot of stuff. But I still had way more than necessary. I still have way more than necessary.

I have a profile on 43 Things. It's a site where you make a list of 43 things you want to do in your life, from giving up smoking to flying in a hot air balloon to visiting all 50 states. It just so happens that no less than 5 of my 43 Things have something to do with having less stuff or enjoying what I have, not what I don't. I recently came across someone who had "get rid of one possession every day" and I found the idea fascinating. Could I do that? My first thought was no way. I need everything I have. But then I started to think of the things I have floating around the house that are in various states of disrepair or that don't fit me anymore.

Then I began picturing the contents of my drawers and closets. I am very organized so even though I have a lot of stuff I know exactly where all of it is. And there is stuff I know I can get rid of easily. Many that I can pawn off on my X and he can deal with it. After that it would get harder. Maybe.

What you don't yet know about me is that for a time I was a professional organizer. I had an actual client or two whose house I went to and I went through their things Clean Sweep style.
What I know as a "professional" is that the hardest part about getting rid of your things is starting, and then realizing that it feels better to let it go of it than to cling to it irrationally. Easier said than done of course. The psychology of getting rid of things is quite fascinating.

It just so happens that Discardia starts tomorrow (see the link's sidebar), not coincidentally on the first day of spring. Discardia is the holiday of letting go. Because it is spring I am currently in the mood for letting go of physical things, although you can let go of whatever your little heart desires - guilt, stress, painful memories, obligations, etc.

Because of Discardia falling so conveniently on the day after I started thinking about getting rid of a few things, I am going to start getting rid of one possession a day. Maybe I'll list the items here if I remember. What I'm going to do right now is turn on some music and scan my rooms for the first wave of stuff. Nothing like a large purge to get the Discardia juices flowing!

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